WE KNOW YOU’VE GOT SOME QUESTIONS.
Hello there, Camper! Thanks for your interest in attending one of the greatest events around. Have questions? Read through the below – Most likely, it is answered here.
HAVE ANY NEWSLETTERS GONE OUT FOR THE 2023 EVENT?
Not yet, but here is what is typical:
1st in mid-April;
2nd will go out the first week of May regarding class registration & more welcoming/info;
3rd will go out right before Memorial Day weekend as a final check in one week prior to camp with packing lists and any last minute info.
As noted, these are all sent to the email with which you registered. We cannot change that email for you – so just in case – check spam, check promo, check it all – emails always go to the email with which you registered, as noted upon signup.
WHERE IS THE IMPROV RETREAT?
TIR 2023 will be held at Tamarack Villages + Camp, a beautiful campground facility primarily used for conferences, spiritual gatherings, and reunions. We use the Youth camp side, due to the possibility of renting the entire campus including a theatre, arts and crafts center, and small lake solely for our use. The youth side is wonderful and rustic, and has a true campy vibe. (If you’ve been to our previous sold out events at Beber/Perlman Center in Wisconsin (shout out!), it’s incredibly similar with way less stairs! They helped us relocate the event after their shift in 2020.) Tamarack is about 45 minutes west of the Detroit airport in Michigan. **We only release our exact address of our specific camp via newsletter to attendees about two weeks prior to the event, but the location is Ortonville, MI;** For any of you flying in, Detroit Metropolitan is the airport to choose. For general road-tripping info: Chicago, CBus, Cleveland, Indy campers, expect a 3-3.5 hour drive; Pittsburgh 6, Milwaukee 5.5, St. Louis 8 hours.
WHAT ARE THE DATES OF THIS CAMP?
2023 – June 1-4th, arrival between 7-9pm Thursday night.
Generally, since 2014, it is always held the weekend AFTER Memorial Day.
SO IT’S AN OVERNIGHT? LIKE, A SLUMBER PARTY CAMP?
You got it – Several overnights. It’s a camp for adults who play like kids; It is a conference in the woods with lots of shows, jams, workshops, and general support and camaraderie. This was created in 2012 and the first large scale event began in the summer of 2014, and is now the biggest improvisational sleepover globally, hosting around 250 folks at each event. In 2022, we did a slightly modified camp (125) to make sure we are all acclimated to best practices in a post-COVID world.
When can I arrive / When is camp over?
Campus is ONLY open to the public campers beginning at 7pm THURSDAY NIGHT.
Once you arrive – You will follow signs to a parking lot, and walk over to the big theatre building to pick up your badge and check in.
Our mixer event starts around 9pm, so come get settled into your assigned cabin before that time, and join the activities and fun!
There are no late arrivals beyond Thursday night permitted due to insurance and the host facility’s policy for safety. That’s it. This insures that we can keep abreast of our campers and their well-being. On Sunday, camp ends after our morning meeting by 10am. All campers must be off-campus no later than noon.
Every registrant will get these things, all-inclusive:
- A BED, housed in a cabin or lodge, randomly assigned
- ALL MEALS COVERED – Friday and Saturday lunches and dinners, as well as Fri-Sun grab and go breakfast snacks, coffee and tea bar all weekend
- THREE 3 HOUR WORKSHOPS (LONGER!) WITH INCREDIBLE FACILITATORS THAT YOU CHOOSE, available multiple times Friday and Saturday (first come, first serve)
- A lanyard with info packet
- Wi-fi access
- Climate controlled co-ed cabins and lodge area
- Access to any Lightning Talk
- Access to panel q&a of the counselors
- Access to Fri & Sat morning rec activities (yoga, hypnosis for wellness, field games)
- Invitation to all jams, Friday & Saturday
- Invitation to Thursday, Friday & Saturday events/games/bonfires
- Invitation to Sunday morning goodbye
- “Tickets” to Mainstage shows (TBA)
- Parking at camp – carpools encouraged, but there is a lot
How do I get there?
The responsibility of getting there falls upon you, the camper. We keep costs for this camp incredibly low cost, and just like any concert/most getaways, travel is yours to arrange. People often rideshare from cities/theatres, but plenty of folks fly-then-drive or roadtrip alone. Up to you!
Who are the facilitators this year?
The counselors are announced when it is time for class sign up. Class sign up begins in May each year, a few weeks prior to camp. Counselors always return, and we try to add where we can and switch it up only slightly each year. We have a great thing going, and vetted amazing humans. [See our past counselors / apprentices page for reference.]
The classes sound incredible, and I know scheduling is different than other events. How does it all work?
In May, you will receive a newsletter to the email with which you registered letting you know the announced classes and the ways to try and schedule your top picks. All of our classes are incredible, and we offer MANY different choices (there will be about 10 different courses available). Signups work in the order you log in, just like a college scheduling system. You may get everything you want, but as many campers have told us, you often get what you need! You make your own schedule according to what is open the minute you sign up. We can guarantee, however, that all the classes are outstanding resources.
What should I bring?
Definitely a sleeping bag, pillow/blanket, a towel, clothing for 3 days, bug spray, flip flops, a pair of jeans/pants for nighttime cooler temps, a hat/bandana, a flashlight, prescribed medication, sunscreen, and toiletries. All Cabins are climate controlled, so we’re all good there, but no linens are provided. You are in bunk beds, as this is a youth camp.
Suggested items to bring would be non-perishable snacks that you keep in your bunk in case you get hungry outside meal times, a journal, a game to share, a way to take pics. Many improvisers bring something from their home theatre to share (buttons, tshirts, etc.), and many people bring something that may bring others joy (an instrument, a puppet, a craft). Whatever else is dealer’s choice.
What age do I need to be to attend?
21, no exceptions. Our event insurance makes that so, plus alcohol is available for purchase on-site and it funds our scholarship programs. Our youngest campers are 21, our oldest is in their eighties! This weekend is for everyone.
What precautions are you taking with the old Damndemic? (ie, will I be ensured of the safest possible surroundings in COVID times?)
Thank you for asking. Our founders are immunocompromised, and we believe in the safety for ALL people, rather than abandoning those with physical challenges in all spaces. Every attendee must be vaccinated/boosted with no exception to attend, and affirm the same upon registration – proof of vax must be shown upon arrival to be admitted into camp with ID. If someone attends who does not bring a matching ID & card, they will not be admitted and there will be no refund given as they attested to their status to register.
Can I get a refund if my plans change otherwise?
Yes, for the most part! We are one of the only large events of this sort to do so and always allow refunds for change of plans for any reason. Full refunds (minus transaction fee) are available until JAN 31 of the event’s year (in this case, Jan 31, 2023), and we even offer partial refunds (30% back) until March 1, 2022 (due to our downpayment to facilities/planners already being in escrow at that time). Someone graduating? Baby shower? Summer wedding of a loved one? – Need a refund? Totally cool. Write email@example.com with subject “Refund” or use theimprovretreat.com contact form to help us help you. The amount you paid minus transaction fee at full (or 30% if requested Feb 1-March 1) is refunded to the method with which you paid (usually Paypal/your bank). All refunds are batched at the same time in early February of each event year.
I have a serious medical condition. Can you help make this weekend comfortable?
YES. Accessibility is a major priority for us – and though our host facility is used for ambulatory kids on the regular – the designer of this camp has a disability and will do anything in her ability to make your stay accessible. We have a cabin or two that it’s easier to get in and out of, and our new facility is flat grounded – no stairs. Maybe you have a wheelchair or crutches – if you need assistance, just note that when you register in the field supplied. Need something less about ambulatory needs – like a plug for a CPAP machine, or a place to flush fluids? We’ve got your back and we know how frustrating it can be when the arts don’t feel friendly to people like us – so we will do our best make it so. 🙂
WILL I HAVE TO SIGN ANYTHING?
If you’ve purchased, you already did, most likely. When you buy the ticket online, you’ll digitally sign our terms and conditions, our code of ethics, and our refund policy. You’ll also fill out a medical emergency form when you get your lanyard at the start of camp.
WANT TO INTERN?
Interns are selected each year from our registered campers, and do everything regular registrants do – however, they are paid to do things like load snacks and sell concessions at our mainstage shows to raise money for our scholarship programs. Interested in this low-key job? Click that you are interested when you register!
Are you an underamplified human in improvisation (BIPOC, LGBTIQ, over 65, PwD, veteran) that needs a little financial help getting to camp? In addition to our full scholarships that we give each year (1-2 FULL RIDES from nominations only, up to 10 Partial Scholars), we give coupons to people that need a hand. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org with subject “Coupon” only if you fall in one of the above categories. Write us at email@example.com with subject “Nomination” to elect a friend for a scholarship until April 1, 2023. Got your back.